Five of the best…. Great Burns nights as Ricky bows out after victory over Limond

Ricky Burns, one of Scotland’s finest fighters, brought the curtain down on his career with an eighth-round stoppage of domestic rival Willie Limond last weekend.


Burns, who has been a professional since 2001, has had a decorated 54-fight career. He is now 40 and he’s boxed a series of top fighters, including Alex Arthur, Carl Johanneson, Lee Selby, Terence Crawford, Julius Indongo, Michele Di Rocco, Kiryl Relikh, Omar Figueroa, Dejan Zlaticanin, Ray Beltran, Kevin Mitchell and Michael Katsidis.


When Burns won the world title in a huge upset in a Fight of the Year contender with Roman Martinez in 2010, the Scot climbed off the deck to do so, and, having learned from earlier career setbacks, Burns continued to get better and better.

Here are five of his best nights…


1.Ramon ‘Rocky’ Martinez 


Burns always said he felt confident of upsetting the unbeaten Puerto Rican puncher, but Martinez started quickly, putting Ricky on the canvas in the first round. But busy Burns battled back, getting a foothold in the fight and banking rounds on his way to a supremely hard-fought decision on all three scorecards.

Promoter Frank Warren, who had worked with Scott Harrison and Alex Arthur north of the border – and who had promoted Nigel Benn and Frank Bruno in Scotland – said it was his best night promoting in the country.


2. Kevin Mitchell

For many, Londoner Kevin Mitchell was always a world champion in waiting, even if he had not lived the life outside the ropes. But disciplined Burns had, and by the time they met in 2012 Burns was arguably at the top of his game and what was supposed to be a gritty battle turned into a one-sided victory parade with Burns stopping Mitchell in four rounds.


3. Michael Katsidis


Stepping up to lightweight, Burns predicted it could be the toughest fight of his career, and for many the Scot was a slender underdog. But Burns won a unanimous decision and afterwards felt vindicated and that he had proved people wrong. 

“Michael didn't give me a minute, he kept coming forward but I'd prepared for that,” Burns said. “I'm doing my job and that's the way I always look at it.” 


4. Michael Gomez


The exciting Mancunian might have been a fading force, but there were plenty who felt he could do the business in Scotland again. Earlier in his career, Gomez defeated Alex Arthur in a Fight of the Year war that is recognised as one of the best seen in a British ring.

But Burns was too good and too fresh and, making the second defence of his Commonwealth super-featherweight title, he stopped a forlorn Gomez in the seventh round. There was no repeat for Gomez, but there was revenge for Scotland.

5. Yakubu Amidu


Burns beat better fighters than Amidu but there was an underground hype about how good Ghana’s Amidu was and how good he was going to be. Amidu was 16-1-1 and all 16 of his wins had come by knockout. Burns was not seen as a big puncher, and there was a fear that he wouldn’t have the firepower to keep Amidu off. Despite picking up a cut over his right eye from a first-round clash of heads, Burns would hurt Amidu in the seventh with a right hand and back the visitor up and then Burns steamed in to apply the finishing touches.